The Canton of Graubünden or Grisons is the largest and easternmost canton of Switzerland. The canton shares international borders with Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein. The name "Graubünden" translates as the "Grey Leagues“. Graubünden is also home to three of Switzerland's ethnic groups and the languages of Swiss German, Italian and Romansh are all native to the state. It is also the only canton where the Romansh language is still spoken. And only deli meats prepared in the Canton des Grisons, have the right to be called Viande des Grisons.
Viande des Grisons is a charcuterie made of the leanest cuts of beef hind-leg. The fat is removed and the pieces of meat are seasoned and stored for three to five weeks in near-freezing temperature. During this first step of the aging process, the meat is systematically compressed to increase its storage life and give it its unique triangular shape. The meat is then cured in the Canton des Grisons mountain air for 17 weeks at temperatures no higher than 18° degrees Celsius until it becomes hard and turns a dark red, almost purple color.
Considering the process of making the Viande des Grisons, it is no surprise that it is considered to be a special treat.
For Dorie´s Tartine des Grisons you simply toast a slice of country bread and generously coat it with good-quality butter. Then you add a few thin slices of the Grisons meat. Top with a few freshly cracked walnuts and drizzle with some walnut oil. To change things up a it, I added three kinds of fresh sprouts to the sandwich.
This is certainly one memorable tartine (open-faced sandwich).
If you enjoy the Viande des Grisons, you can try a few other great classics to prepare with it. The Viande de Grisons is an essential element in all Swiss fondues and raclettes. You can also serve in in salads or as a tartar. Like prosciutto ham, des Grisons meat pairs well with sliced melon as an appetizer. Furthermore, the meat can simply be served with cottage cheese or fresh fruits like apples, pears or strawberries. The Swiss also enjoy the meat diced and added to barley soup. Or, if you really want to enjoy the unique taste of this meat, serve it as a Carpaccio of Viande des Grisons – simple arrange the thinlysliced meat on a large plate, drizzle with olive oil and fresh shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano.
The Italian „Bresaola" (which originates in Valtellina, a valley in the Alps of northern Italy's Lombardy region) is considered a close relative to the Suisse „Viande des Grisons“, both are beef fillets aged in dry conditions for at least one month. They are both enjoyed sliced paper thin and served at room temperature or slightly chilled. The Viande des Grisons has a slightly drier texture than the Bresaola.
Viande des Grisons is hard to beat – no matter which way you serve it – so it came as no surprise that we all enjoyed this lovely tartine as a first course to „Pasta with Fennel, Rocket and Lemon“ – a recipe from River Cottage Everyday Veg that I have prepared a few times since we first made this in August for the cottage Cooking Club (if interested, you can take a look here).
To see how much the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed this recipe, please go here.
For copyright reasons, we do not publish the recipes from the book. But you can find the recipe for “Tartine de Viande des Grisons“ on page 41 in Dorie Greenspan´s cookbook "Around my French Table".
I love your wonderful descriptions of ingredients and their provenance. You presented this simple tartine beautifully, too. Love the touch of colour that the sprouts add.ReplyDelete
Dear Teresa, I guess we are just a bit more used to seeing Viande des Grisons around here - not that hard to find at good stores but still a wonderful treat that we always enjoy greatly. So, a little touch of something "different", like these lovely Dutch sprouts did not seem out of place!Delete
Thank you for your comment!
When I observe your "Food of Art," My heart does a somersault.
Love the deer! xxxxxxxxx
Kim, how very nice of you - these charming little deers were calling my name - there is a German company that produces so many of these wonderful animals and figurines - I always have a hard time resisting to buy them.Delete
Have a great weekend!
I LOVE THIS POST. And, I agree wholeheartedly with Liz's comment. Thank you for continuing to educate me about air-dried, cured meats. When I was studying French in Villefranche, my Canadian friends who live in La Cadiére would drive over, pick me up and we'd go to Ventimiglia. Besides shopping at the open-air market, my friend Jean would go into the shops to buy salame - I cannot tell you the huge number of varieties - and she knew the name of every single different one. I'm sure you do as well and that's impressive. So, you know me, I am on a Mission. At least to know 5 or 6 favorites. Those dishes are almost as spectacular looking as your Tartine. (I am headed over to CCC to make nice with my colleagues for making but not posting my Nov. choices. My 1500-mile Thanksgiving trip turned out to be more tiring than I anticipated, reminding me once again that I am not as young as I used to be. Will post twice in December. It's all good.) Saint Nicholas Day and I hope you really are putting your feet up (especially the one with the injured ankle) and eating chocolates and allowing your family to provide some tender, loving care. Hope that ankle is getting better.ReplyDelete
Mary, now that´s a wonderful comment - thank you for your continued support and friendship - you know how much I appreciate that!!!Delete
Well, the charcuterie is so accessible around here - at the Italian markets, German Delikatessen etc. so, it is not difficult to pick up a lot of information along the way - unfortunately no friendly shopping assistants though...
I am taking care of that ankle - it is starting to bother me, it keeps me from doing certain things that need to be done these days...well, what can you do. I am eating chocolates (my darling "Schatzi"/husband gifted me some lovely LIndt ones for St. Nicolas Day today...) and writing Christmas cards. Hope to be able to mail all of them by Monday morning,
Love and hugs and kisses form all of us!
Really interesting how differently this meat is dried than salami which you keep at above freezing temperatures. Gorgeous pictures. Thank you so much about telling about such an interesting area of Switzerland.ReplyDelete
Diane, thank you kindly for the wonderful comment - I always hope that I do not bore my readers to death with my beloved food facts - the region of Graubünden is one of the most beautiful places in Europe to visit and my Swiss friends always, always have Viande des Grison with their raclette and/or cheese fondue - it is such a decadent treat, unbelievably delicious.Delete
I see the deer are joining you for the month of December! I remember them from past years. Thank you for the background on the true viande des Grisons. I enjoyed this with the close cousin bresaola, all I could find. It was delicious! The multi-colored sprouts add a extra special touch to your tartines! Have a wonderful week, Andrea!ReplyDelete
Betsy, here are the deer again - too nice not to use them a second time, besides they go with the plates...I had to hide them for a few month so they would not be assimilated into the toy chest.Delete
No matter wether we made the Tartine with Bresaola, Coppa or Viande de Grisons, this week, this was one delcious open-faced sandwich, wasn´t it?!
Hope you had a wonderful birthday,
The Pasta with Fennel, Rocket and Lemon sounds absolutely delicious! The viande de Grissons seems so versatile. I have to admit I enjoy snacking on charcuterie on its own, but it was a nice change to use it with bread and walnuts. Your colorful salads are delicious and must have been a nice contrast to the meat.ReplyDelete
Adriana, thank you - the "salads" are actually sprouts, these are beetroot, alfalfa and leek sprouts - we get them from the Netherlands - the Dutch are amazing growers of a lot of different sprouts and cress.Delete
Stunning, Andrea! What a treat to find the real deal...it sounds like it's worth the splurge :)ReplyDelete
Liz, certainly worth the splurge and in the end not all that expensive - and most definitely worth standing in line for at a charcuterie counter in the busy month of December.Delete
Hope you are having a wonderful time visiting with family this week,
I think that we were the only ones lucky enought to actually find the real thing this week. For some reason I had never heard of this specific meat before, I tend to like the cured/dried porks more than the beef variety. But this combo was delicious and I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it. We'll definitely look for it again next time we serve raclette.ReplyDelete
Hope that you are getting a little sun for your second Advent. Enjoy your weekend.
Rose, a bit of sunshine on this second Sunday of Advent - but it did rain later on...no matter, it was a fabulous day that involved a wonderful visit to a Christmas market.Delete
And, yes, we were very lucky to be able to get the Bünderfleisch in our neck of the woods!
Liebe Grüsse nach Frankfurt,
Thanks for the history behind this meat - I found it interesting. I just used plain old prosciutto - my shopping centre does not do fancy.ReplyDelete
Gaye, no matter what we used for this tartine, Viande de Grisons, Bresaola or Coppa or even ham, it seemed to delighted each and every Dorista - how wonderful!Delete
Ah, thank you so much for giving some more background on viande des grisons! I'm also glad to hear more about the differences between it and bresaola. The tartine looks fabulous, especially with those gorgeous sprouts as a garnish.ReplyDelete
Katie, thank you kindly - dreary day, weatherwise, it just called for some color and the punch that the different sprouts lend to this tartine was a nice and delicious change-up of the usual open-faced sandwich routine.Delete
Great pictures, I love your set up. Thanks for the history of this dish, I learned a lot. I agree with your sentiments on the speculoos. Have a great week.ReplyDelete
Diane - thank you - yes those speculoos cookies are some of the very best Christmas cookies, ever.Delete
It sounds delicious. What a special treat!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Beth! Viande de Grisons is always quite the treat even if it is rather uncomplicated to procure around here.Delete
Dear Andrea, I should like to visit the Canton des Grisons simply to taste the Viande des Grisons. Mostly what fascinates me is how farmers, chefs, food craft specialists, throughout the ages ever came up with these ideas and processes to begin with, how they tested them, later then perhaps making new adjustments toward desired heightened flavors. My favorite might likely be, simply enjoyed with some bread and cheese. Your photos are beautiful, and I love the wee little deer, so cute. I have some black metal ones, not as cute, but perhaps may work in your inspiration. And if I weren't already an member of the Cottage Cooking Club, just reading your Post, I would be, and I would join!!ReplyDelete
Peggy, how nice - thank you so much! Those deer are indeed some of my favorite props, they do make the occasional appearance and I enjoy including them every so often. And you noticed that I did some promotion for the Cottage Cooking Club!Delete
The Canton des Grisons is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe - you would really love all the mountains and history there, no doubt. Maybe one day ýou will get a chance to visit "Graubünden", who knows?!
Thank you for the lovely comment,
Such a pretty presentation and a great, informative post!ReplyDelete
Merci beaucoup, chère Mardi!Delete
I have never head of Viande de Grisons before - I always learn so much form your posts, Andrea! I love the simplicity of a good tartine. Perhaps when I am in Germany this summer, I will be able to find some Viande de Grisons and give this a try! Liebe Grüße, DavidReplyDelete
David, well, you shall be in for a treat, because I have no doubt in my mind that you will be able to find Viande de Grisons in Germany - and you will love it, no doubt!Delete
I always enjoy the extra background you provide with your posts - I know that coming here will get me caught up on the history of the item :-)ReplyDelete
Cher, hopefully I keep all that information within reasonable boundaries...but, of course, I am always happy to get compliments on these kinds of posts because I really enjoy putting them together.Delete